The New Jersey Nets will try to put an end to their two-game losing streak tonight in Orlando when they take on the Magic, who are fresh off a 128-86 thumping of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The trip to Florida kicks off a grueling stretch for New Jersey that includes 13 of 20 games on the road including a trip to the west coast.
Waiting for the Nets in Florida is the league's best center, Dwight Howard. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is once again averaging a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds to go along with his league-leading 4 blocks.
Howard will present Nets center Brook Lopez with his biggest challenge of this young season and will test the shoulder that he injured in the final seconds of Wednesday's loss to the Bobcats. Head coach Avery Johnson has deemed Lopez ready to go, though it won't take long against Howard to see if the third-year center has any lingering effects.
The Nets will also have the services of Devin Harris. The point guard was questionable after spraining his shoulder against Charlotte and missing practice on Thursday but Johnson said Harris will play.
Besides Howard, former Nets Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson have also been hot for the Magic of late. Against the Timberwolves, Carter poured in 20 points and Anderson was right behind him with 19 in just 19 minutes. The two combined to go 8-of-13 from beyond the arc.
Like most teams, the Magic swept the season series with the Nets during their 70-loss season.